Schenectady County

Schalmont extends its tax deadline

Residents of the Schalmont Central School District will get a little more time to pay their school t

Residents of the Schalmont Central School District will get a little more time to pay their school taxes.

The Board of Education has granted an extension because Hurricane Irene caused severe flooding in parts of the district, including Rotterdam Junction and Pattersonville. The deadline to pay taxes without penalty will be Oct. 21 instead of Sept. 30.

“It’s not as much as I think we’d like to do but what we’re authorized by law to do,” said Superintendent Valerie Kelsey.

The residential property tax rates are $17.95 per $1,000 for Rotterdam, $53.31 for Princetown, $53.94 for Duanesburg, $32.83 for Florida and $20.65 for Guilderland. The $41.8 million budget that voters approved in May contained no increase in the tax levy, though the individual tax rates increased or decreased slightly.

The state has allowed school districts to issue the extension.

Woestina School has been used as a distribution center for assistance to flood victims, and that activity is in the process of being moved over to Mariaville School. Both schools are vacant.

The district has been actively involved in flood recovery efforts. Kelsey said the schools have been collecting gift cards and money for flood victims. They are turning everything over to the Rotterdam Fire Department’s relief fund. In addition, homecoming on Oct. 15 will have a new 5K Run/1K Walk and kids’ run. Both of those events will benefit flood victims. Schalmont Middle School is also holding a bottle drive that day to raise money.

In other business, the board adopted its goals for the 2011-12 school year. Kelsey said a lot of these are a continuation of goals from the previous year. School officials want to increase the percentage of elementary and middle school students scoring a 3 or a 4 out of a maximum of 4 on the state English and math tests. In addition, the district wants to revise its math and English curricula to incorporate the state’s Common Core standards for knowledge that students should have upon graduation.

Other goals are to decrease bullying at the middle school level and begin discussions of a change in school structure, for example, grouping fifth- and sixth-graders and seventh through 12th grade.

The district also wants to increase the number of students earning a Regents diploma and graduating, continue long-range financial planning and continue conversations with other districts on collaborating to save costs.

Also, Kelsey informed the board that the district has received a $47,000 COPS grant in conjunction with the Rotterdam Police Department to make security upgrades to the middle school and high school complex. This includes installing additional outdoor and indoor security cameras, electronic door access and training for staff to handle crisis situations.

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